Environmental Health Risks of Fracked Gas Infrastructure


Health officials want studies of natural gas projects
By Christian M. Wade, Statehouse News
June 25, 2019

There are many health risks associated with fracked gas and fossil fuel infrastructure that are under the radar as far as regulators are concerned.  Health care professionals are raising awareness of these risks and working to bring reform to the way FERC and other regulators consider projects for approval.

Particulate emissions mostly occur at points in a pipeline system where fracked gas is burned. This is at compressor stations that burn fracked gas to run turbines, or at associated gas-fired electric generation plants.

Volatile organic compounds are chemicals that are emitted both by un-burned fracked gas (through leaks and blow-down facilities) and in smaller amounts when gas is burned to power turbines.

The lectures below address specific health effects of both.

Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking Fracking

Sixth Edition, June 2019
Concerned Health Professionals of NY
– Affiliate of Physicians for Social Responsibility

»» ‘The Harms of Fracking’: New Report Details Increased Risks of Asthma, Birth Defects and Cancer
By Justin Nobel, Rolling Stone
March 13, 2018

“Natural Gas Infrastructure and Public Health”

This conference from Boston is available on video online, along with the PDF of the program. This Conference was co-sponsored by the MAHB, Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy, Mass. Medical Society, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Policy Action, Union of Concerned Scientists, Health Care Without Harm, and Boston University. Conference Date: 1/30/2018

Webinar from Halt the Harm on how to use the FrackHealth Database

Quick and informative webinar on how to access articles and studies on health effects related to fracking. Not much on pipelines, compressor stations or end use yet, but there is a way to submit info you have as well. Webinar Date: 1/31/2018

» Effects of Burning Natural Gas Indoors
(gas appliances)

Mass Health Care Professionals for Clean Energy

Mass Health Care Professionals for Clean Energy
Massachusetts health providers concerned about the health risks associated with gas pipeline infrastructure and with climate change.


Natural Gas: Rethinking the Narrative

Dr. Curt Nordgaard speaking on the health risks of fracked gas at Arlington Public Library. March 13, 2017

Arlington Community Media, Inc., organized by Mothers Out Front and Sustainable Arlington

SWP-EHP Health Effect of Gas Infrastructure

» Health Effects Associated with Stack Chemical Emissions from NYS Natural Gas Compressor Stations: 2008 – 2014
October 12, 2017
A Technical Report Prepared for the Southwest Pennsylvania Environmental Health Project, underwritten by the Park Foundation

Deerfield, MA presentation to Massachusetts Pipeline Activist Groups

On January 30, 2016, we were fortunate to have a team from Environmental Health Project (EHP) make a presentation on the Health Effects of Gas Infrastructure at Frontier High School in Deerfield, MA. EHP were the researchers behind the Minisink Compressor Station health study (linked below), one of the few studies of actual community health affects of a compressor station operating in town. Their presentation lends invaluable statistical medical information for people to speak to their own Board of Health in any town affected by pipelines, compressor stations, or gas-powered energy plants.

Some voiced interest in obtaining a DVD of the presentation. Please contact the station to see if that’s something they can provide.

Use the information from this study:
The EHP team recommended that local activists bring the information from this presentation to elected officials and to use in comments on dockets for projects being considered for approval.

Get “baseline” tests before construction begins:
They also recommend conducting “baseline” tests, getting samples of local conditions before any infrastructure is built, to help build a case for any damages to environment, health and safety if the infrastructure is later built and operational.
» Check out the Speck Monitors reviewed in the presentation

The question was raised of whether the costs of testing (estimated in the presentation to be as low as $5,000 to more expensive for more extentive tests), should be required to be paid by the pipeline company. This request should be brought up on the FERC docket as a conditional demand of approval of the pipeline.

» Read more and view slides and other presentation materials

Contact EHP:
EHP is available in New Haven for those interested in following up. It’s best to contact Celia Lewis directly: clewis@environmentalhealthproject.org


» Unburned natural gas contains 21 toxic air pollutants, study finds
By Miriam Wasser, WBUR
June 28, 2022

» Natural gas used in homes may contain hazardous air pollutants: study
By Sharon Udasin, The Hill
June 28, 2022

» Scientists measured the pollutants coming from gas stoves in Boston. They found dangerous chemicals.
By Sabrina Shankman, Boston Globe
June 28, 2022

» In Ohio, researchers find EPA data doesn’t tell the whole story on fracking pollution
Scientists working with community organizations established a network of local-level air monitors, finding details that regional monitors can miss.
By Kathiann M. Kowalski, Energy News Network
June 8, 2022

» The Risk of Preterm Birth Rises Near Gas Flaring, Reflecting Deep-rooted Environmental Injustices in Rural America
By Jill Johnston, University of Southern California and Lara Cushing, University of California, Los Angeles, in DeSmog Blog
August 20, 2020

» Birth defects, cancer and disease among potential health risks from fracking for Canadians, doctors warn
By Kieran Leavitt, The Star
January 29, 2020

» Health officials want studies of natural gas projects
By Christian M. Wade, Statehouse News
June 25, 2019

» Physicians call for halt to natural gas fracking projects
By Jeffrey Mize, The Columbian
June 19, 2019

» Human Toll: Risk and exposure in the gas lands
By David Templeton & Don Hopey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 14, 2019

» Your Gas Stove Is Bad for You and the Planet
To help solve the climate crisis, we need to electrify everything.
By Justin Gillis and Bruce Nilles, New York Times Opinion
May 1, 2019
Mr. Gillis is a former New York Times environmental reporter and a contributing opinion writer. Mr. Nilles is a managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute.

» EPA Decides Not to Regulate Fracking Wastewater as Pennsylvania Study Reveals Recent Spike
By Sharon Kelly, DeSmog Blog
April 25, 2019

» High levels of toxic fracking chemicals are found in shellfish near former disposal sites – YEARS after companies were forced to recycle waste
By Peter Lloyd, Daily Mail
October 26, 2018

» Secret Fracking Chemicals Threaten Delaware River Basin, Pennsylvania
By Partnership For Policy Integrity (PFPI)
September 10, 2018

» Methane and Other Air Pollution Issues in Natural Gas Systems
By Richard K. Lattanzio, Specialist in Environmental Policy, Congressional Research Service
Updated August 23, 2018

» Thirty-three Members of Congress Ask EPA to Reveal Secret Fracking Chemicals
By Partnership For Policy Integrity (PFPI)
May 7, 2018

» How Community Air Monitoring Projects Provide A Data-Driven Model For The Future
By By Irene Burga, Environmental Defense Fund Energy Exchange
September 22, 2017

» Barrington board urges Gov. Baker to consider public health risks of fracked natural gas pipelines
By Terry Cowgill, Berkshire Edge
June 3, 2017

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